Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will have tough lineup decisions to make every night with how deep the team’s roster is, but it appears part of those have been solved by again placing Cody Bellinger in a platoon role.
This season has been a struggle for the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player.
In 72 games, Bellinger has hit .171/.247/.319 with a 57 wRC+. And while his defense remains strong, Bellinger has still provided negative value to the team as shown by his current -0.4 wins above replacement.
Bellinger has struggled against left-handers (27 wRC+) and right-handers (68 wRC+) alike, but he has been significantly worse against southpaws. So Roberts plans to give Bellinger days off against them moving forward.
“I think we have other guys that have performed really well all year long against left-handers, I think it gives Cody a day to reset when left-handers play,” Roberts said. “There might be times that I put him in there, but for the most part I don’t see him against left-handers at this time.
“We have other guys that have performed. It’ll give him time to get off his feet, work on his mechanics, get the body strong and be ready when called upon. This is where we’re at with our ballclub.”
The Dodgers intended to put Bellinger into a platoon earlier in the season but he was forced back into an everyday role due to the club’s injuries.
In 79 plate appearances against left-handers this season, Bellinger is batting .129/.228/.200 with one home run. In 187 plate appearances against right-handers, he is hitting .187/.255/.374 with eight home runs.
Bellinger remains confident
Despite his struggles, which could be attributed to his offseason shoulder surgery and fractured leg earlier in the season, Bellinger has remained confident he can turn his season around.
In early August, Bellinger showed some hope he can get back to being a productive player as he hit .333/.391/1.000 with a 258 wRC+. However, since the middle of the month, his struggles have been amplified as he is hitting .133/.145/.183 with a -12 wRC+ in that time.
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